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McCaskill is Washington's Twitter Queen

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 23, 2009 - The online political-news site Politico declared today that U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., is the most influential Twitterer who currently holds office in Washington.

She even outranks President Barack Obama, who's No.4 on the list, even though officially he stopped twittering after Inauguration Day.

Only one Twitter buff is more influential than McCaskill in Washington, Politico says: Former Bush administration guru Karl Rove.

McCaskill chuckled about the honor during a brief interview today on MSNBC. But she added that she sees twittering as a way to communicate with regular people back home in Missouri and -- referring to the reporter interviewing her -- "it's a way to circumvent you guys."

Here's what Politico says: "Although more than 60 members of Congress tweet, no one else does so with the regularity and honesty of this Missouri Democrat.

"She’ll open up about her political views (“I’m mad about these yahoos on Wall Street taking bonuses and trying to buy fancy jets on the taypayers dime”) and her personal life (“Brought work home. My sister is here who is a huge dog person. That means one thing tonight. Westminister Dog Show on TV”).

"McCaskill’s embrace of Twitter has worked: With more than 5,700 followers, she is one of the most popular Twitterers on Capitol Hill."

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

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